Album Review: The Dip – Sticking With It

What Silk Sonic have done with 70’s R&B and soul, The Dip do for the 50’s and 60’s versions of those genres. The band’s sound both pays homage to the classic sounds of early doo-wop, R&B, soul and rock, while also giving it a modern sheen and contemporary lyrical context. On their latest album Sticking With It, The Dip shine as a musical unit, showing off immaculate production and crisp arrangements that sound timeless.

There’s an undeniable smoothness to the band and their sound. On first single “Paddle to the Stars”, Eddy’s soulful vocals flow over the twangy guitar and Stax horns in ways that brim with a soothing joy. The vocals also really shine on the emotionally-relatable “When You Lose Someone”. The lyrics have an honesty to them that feels grounded (“I can tell you it’s just part of life…but I’d be lying right through my teeth if I told you I know why they had to go away”), while the perfect backing vocals almost steal the show.

It’s impossible to find a true stand-out member of The Dip, as each band member gets moments to shine on the album. Jarred Katz’s versatile drumming adds a swing to “Vacation” and bebop shuffle to “Forget About It”. “Apollonia” surges with 60’s surf guitar and a psychedelic bridge that is far too short. And the horn section adds the full sound that makes the band stand-out from other retro-leaning acts (the trumpet solo on “Sleep On It” soars). The group excels in their compositions; the strings and production that make “Anyway” so lush, or the driving bass, organ and sharp guitar licks that make the socially-conscious, apathy-indictment “Crickets” so effective (“If it feels like the world is burning down, it’s cause it is!”).

The Dip

Final single “Real Contender” is an interesting mix of styles – opening with a country-western stomp, before moving into a more modern pop rock direction, delivered with a crooner’s vocals and elevating horns. It’s a great example of how The Dip are far more than retro-imposters; they experiment with a variety of classic sounds and create something fresh yet still recognizable. “Vacation” is a funky, swinging jam about dealing with financial hardships (my one critical note of the song is the backing vocals here do come across a bit silly). Thankfully there is no silliness on the lovely ballad “Eye to Eye”, as Eddy mournfully sings “Stones have been thrown, bones have been broken”. The band also makes a case for hiring them on as future film score composers with the Isaac Hayes meets Jack Nitzsche “Yellowfinger”; a smooth, jazzy instrumental that is easy to drift away to.

The Dip are a band that take inspiration from rock n’ roll’s roots. Their songs avoid the potential for cheesy pastiche and show off their songwriting talent. Enjoy listening to Sticking With It when it’s released on March 4th, and listen to the pre-released tracks here.

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